Former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill will appear at an Eric Greitens campaign rally later this month, the campaign said Friday in a “major announcement” that had been teased on social media.
O’Neill, a former SEAL Team Six operator who participated in the missions to rescue Captain Richard Phillips and to kill Osama bin Laden — O’Neill claims to have fired the shots that killed bin Laden — will appear with Greitens at the Marriott St. Louis West on June 28.
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) June 17, 2016
Since coming out as the killer of bin Laden, O’Neill has been a sought after speaker in conservative circles and appears regularly on Fox News.
Both Greitens and O’Neill are represented by the Leading Authorities speaking bureau.
One of the pillars of Greitens campaign has been his service as a Navy SEAL, but that service has been called into question by some current and former SEALS.
O’Neill’s appearance will come at the end of a month that began with This Week in Missouri Politics airing interviews with some of the Navy SEALs questioning Greitens’ service. Some said they considered Greitens to be a “SEAL in name only.”
While the Greitens campaign could be hoping that O’Neill’s appearance quells questions about the candidate’s service, O’Neill has drawn his own criticism for cashing in on his time on the famous SEAL Team Six.
O’Neill has run into legal trouble as well. He was arrested for a DUI in April, leading to Montana State University cancelling a scheduled speech. O’Neill says a prescription sleep aid was responsible for the DUI and that he is innocent.
This month’s appearance will be the second in as many years at a political event in Missouri for O’Neill. Last year, he appeared at a Jefferson City fundraiser for Sen. Dan Brown. The event was popular among Republican lawmakers.
At that event, O’Neill was introduced by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, one of Greitens’ primary opponents, who called O’Neill a “highly decorated combat veteran.”
Attorney General candidate Sen. Kurt Schaefer also lauded O’Neill at the event, saying he admired the Navy veteran.